Fear Hustlin': Sarah Palin's Mosque Problems

Once again Sarah Palin has set the blogosphere on fire. This time though it wasn’t the kerosene on her tongue that set the Internet ablaze, it was the kerosene on her fingertips. This Pit-Bull With Lipstick makes ignorance looks cool. Heck, if I could receive a 1.25 million book advance for jumbling up the Bush doctrine on national television among many other public blunders, I would be living in a penthouse on Michigan Avenue. Unfortunately, I probably won’t see any of that money because I don’t have enough space on my hand to write a book.

The Pit-bull With Lipstick might be rabid because she was surely foaming at the mouth in her latest tweet about the prospects of a mosque being built near Ground Zero in New York City. This even made me put my thoughts about Mel Gibson’s recent comments on the backburner. Back to the caricature Sarah Palin. On Sunday Palin tweeted “Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healing.” She was referring to the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative’s plan to build a $100 million dollar cultural center, gym, and mosque two blocks away from Ground Zero. The Republican Party has a bad (or good depending on who you’re asking i.e. Lee Atwater) habit of creating “us against them” wars. The National Republican Trust PAC recently submitted an ad that was rejected by NBC and CBS that expressed extreme dissatisfaction and fear about the prospects of a mosque near the same place where George W. Bush stood up to that country with “weapons of mass destruction”.  As reported by Politico the ad says “On Sept. 11, they declared war against us,” a narrator says. “And to celebrate that murder of 3,000 Americans, they want to build a monstrous 13-story mosque at ground zero.”


10 Teenagers Shot at Ind. Black Expo

10 Teenagers Shot at Ind. Black Expo
Associated Press (via News One), July 19, 2010

Police say eight people were wounded in a burst of gunfire in downtown Indianapolis during the Indiana Black Expo and two more in separate shootings that followed.

Police spokesman Lt. Jeff Duhamell said early Sunday that authorities made no immediate arrests directly tied to the shootings and were seeking those responsible. He says none of the injuries was life-threatening.

Police say the victims were males ages 10 to 18. Duhamell says hundreds in a crowd scattered when shots first erupted about 9:30 p.m. Saturday, adding a man was wounded nearby in another shooting minutes later and the last man in a shooting about 11:30 p.m.

Duhamell says investigators were trying to determine if the shootings were gang-related. None occurred at the event’s venues.

July 12, 2010 – July 18, 2010

Minorities closing testing gap
Rebecca Croniser, Observer-Dispatch, July 17, 2010

Woodlawn residents march against violence
John Byrne, Chicago Tribune, July 17, 2010

To protest Wake schools, Duke historian Tim Tyson tries hip-hop
Sara Ovaska, News Observer, July 17, 2010

In Jet City, inner-city youth try out flying
Staff Writer, Seattle Times, July 16, 2010

Minnesota Youth Leadership Academy leads way for teens
Alex Ebert, St.Paul Star Tribune, July 16, 2010

At-risk youth decorate Wyler dealership with murals
Jessica Holbrook, Springfield News-Sun, July 16, 2010

Community youth rally encourages awareness of gangs, violence
Lisa Chalian-Rock, The SC Messenger, July 16, 2010

Urban schools begin to close the achievement gap
Robert A. Frahm, The Connecticut Mirror, July 16, 2010

Lots More Students of Color in College–and in Debt
Julianne Hing, Colorlines News, July 16, 2010

Drugs ignored in youth violence guidelines
Lucy Carter, July 15, 2010

Teens Converge in D.C. to Voice Concerns About Gang Violence July 17-22
Staff Writer, PR Newswire, July 15, 2010

Governor’s program seeks youth involvement
Hannah McGoldrick , Milford Daily News, July 15, 2010

Swim or die: The battle to save black kids from drowning
Harriette Cole, The Grio, July 15, 2010

Young entrepreneurs take note
Richard Gootee, Indiana Star, July 15, 2010

Black colleges must change to survive, thrive
John Fitzgerald Gates, Atlanta Journal Constitution, July 14, 2010

School District Documented Achievement Gap, Worked to Fix It
Mary Mann, South Orange Patch, July 14, 2010

The power of mentors for young boys
Bob Coghill, Capital City Weekly, July 14, 2010

In Oakland, young heroes seek justice
Sandy Banks, LA Times, July 14, 2010

Being Black, Gay And Greek
Lawrence Ross, The Root, July 14, 2010

Obama Must Make Youth A Priority
Linda Harris, City Limits News, July 14, 2010

The ‘Y’ is now the Y
Carol Slezak, Chicago Sun-Times, July 14, 2010

Why Governor Quinn Singles Out Walls Candidacy – Latest In Attacks On Black Men and Boys!!
Marl Sallen, Chicago Now, July 14, 2010

Education grants aim to bolster health-care ranks
Darryl Fears, Washington Post, July 13, 2010

Black Youth Organization Founder Wins World Open Speed Chess Competition
Staff Writer, Black News, July 13, 2010

One In Five Default On Their Student Loans
Julianne Hing, Colorlines News, July 13, 2010

Real Education
Dennis Prager , National Review, July 13, 2010

Meeting on Youth Violence Shuts Media Out
Staff Writer, Fox Memphis, July 13, 2010

Mayor Launches Initiative To Reduce City Homicides, Youth Violence
Staff Writer, Pittsburgh WPIX, July 13, 2010

Organization launches youth initiative to reduce gun violence
Joe Swickard, Free Press Detroit, July 13, 2010

Community airs school concerns with DOJ
Staff Writer, The Meridian Star, July 12, 2010

Young writers deserve to be congratulated
Staff Writer, Jackson Sun, July 12, 2010

NAACP hears Michelle on obesity
Amie Parnes, Politico News, July 12, 2010

The whole damn system is GUILTY! We demand justice for Oscar Grant!
Staff Writer, East Bay News, July 12, 2010

Black Female Teens Lead Peers in Quitting Cigarettes
Pharoh Martin, Black Voice News, July 12, 2010

NAACP to offer youth program again
Danny Henly, Hannibal Courier-Post , July 12, 2010

100 Black Men of Savannah Launches Pathways to Success Summer Enrichment Institute
Kim Gusby, WSAV News, July 12, 2010

To Resurrect a Mockingbird (in a Really Long-Winded Way)

Last week, the folks over at Racialicious re-posted a piece by Macon D., the creator of the blog, Stuff White People Do.  The article, “Stuff White People Do: Warmly Embrace a Racist Novel,” addresses the 50th anniversary celebration of Harper Lee’s only novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, published in the summer of 1960.  Macon D. took issue with all the attention TKAM was receiving, and consequently wrote a polemic railing against the (praise of the) novel.

I refuse to go along with this week’s warm, feel-good celebrations of Harper Lee’s novel (published fifty years ago today), To Kill a Mockingbird. Simply put, I think that novel is racist, and so is its undying popularity. It’s also racist in a particularly insidious way, because the story and its characters instead seem to so many white people like the very model of good, heartwarming, white anti-racism.

Macon D. outlines several key issues he has with the novel: its reception, that the mockingbird symbolizes Negroes, Atticus Finch as the O.G. white savior, and the marginal presence of Negroes in the novel.  To put bluntly: I take issue with Macon D.’s issues.  Maybe this is also stuff black people do, because I embrace this novel, too.  Before I continue, however, I want to note that since the initial post takes up the novel, and not the Academy Award-winning film, which premiered in 1962, my response will exclusively center on the text and not the film.

Swim or die: The battle to save black kids from drowning

Swim or die: The battle to save black kids from drowning
Harriette Cole, The Grio, July 15, 2010

I’m one of the lucky ones. When I was 4-years-old my father had an in-ground pool built in the backyard of my Baltimore home. And then he immediately hired a swim teacher to come to our house every Saturday like clockwork to teach my sisters and me the ways of the water. Though he grew up in inner city Baltimore of meager means, my father (and my mother) had learned how to swim at young ages. And what was clear to them from the start was that in order to be safe–and have fun in the summer especially–you had to know how to swim.

If only this were so for most African-American families today! Instead, a recent study commissioned by USASwimming and conducted by the University of Memphis reveals a shocking truth. Not only do most black kids not know how to swim, the concept of “most” is not an exaggeration. Actually about 70 percent of black youth across America cannot swim.

Unfortunately, this lack of swimming skill is not translating into safe behavior in pools and oceans in this country. When the Fahrenheit is climbing and folks are looking for relief, the water is usually the most alluring (and cooling) destination they seek. (Read the full article)

In Solidarity w/Crunk Feminist Collective: I, too, know what it means to date Black Men as a Black Feminist

“Feminism tells us that the personal is political. Therefore, feminism is a useful frame for helping me to make sense of the gender politics that may be at play in my dating life. When a card-carrying feminist goes on a date, it is a feminist issue, maybe a micro-level one, but a feminist issue nonetheless. In my facetious blaming of feminism, I simply meant that the confidence which it instills in women concerning their intellect and the often radical politics it causes us to espouse, can very often throw a monkey wrench in one’s dating game.” —Crunktastic, July 15, 2010

Wow, for me this quote is “church” as my high school mentee would say. Meaning, this quote is the truth on the level of canonical truth.  I cannot count on my fingers, toes, and follicles of hair the number of black men I’ve dated who have placed me in what Crunktastic calls the “mind f*u$k” category or as I have come to refer to it as the mental masturbation category. Meaning, [in your best non-British intellectually laced Idris Alba’s voice] “I, black man, will date you, black feminist, for a set amount of time . . . give or take three months . . . slowly draining you, my sweet ebony Amazon, of your bookish, but devilishly witty comments . . . then I, black man, will slowly nibble at your “cute” feminist push backs about my male privilege then after that I will marry La’Keisha because she has relaxed hair, childbearing hips, believes in religious “submission” and will happily keep my house and cook my dinner.”

Okay, I know this is a caricature of the some of the men I’ve dated, but the truth remains the same as Crunktastic humorously and facetious writes that, “the confidence which [black feminism] . . . instills in women concerning their intellect and the often radical politics it causes us to espouse, can very often throw a monkey wrench in one’s dating game.” And, I would go even further and say that it throws hammers, nails, the kitchen sink, and, yes, even dry wall into the mix.